“I’m such an idiot”, “I can’t believe I’m that stupid”, “I will never succeed”. We all speak to ourselves this way sometimes. And we may not even be aware of it, we just consider it normal. We should avoid as much as possible to blame and criticize ourselves like this. We are actually our biggest enemy when it comes down to improve our lives and learn new things.
Do not criticize yourself
Maybe you’re thinking “Yes but sometimes I deserve it”, or “Yes but it WAS stupid”. Yes, I agree. I think I’m still, to this day, my biggest critic. But I’m working on it.
My nephew, who is 13 months old, is learning how to walk. Every time he falls, what do I say to him? I do not say “you suck, you just fell! You will never learn how to walk!”. No, I encourage him, I congratulate him for every step, for every small progress. It’s obvious, right? So why would it be different when we talk to ourselves? When we make mistakes, when we “fail” (I don’t like the word fail, I prefer to say we learn), why do we beat ourselves up?
Another example: would you stay friend with someone who talks to you the same way you do? Someone always blaming, someone only seeing the negative? I don’t think so. You are the person you spend most of your time with. You’d better like this person and develop a loving relationship with him/her!
My point is: if you wouldn’t say something to a child or a friend, do not say it to yourself.
I know it’s not easy, sometimes I just feel like everything upsets me, like I hate myself. But, the more we are kind and loving with ourselves, the better we will feel.
Step by step, change the way you communicate
It is an ongoing job. Anytime I notice I am criticizing or blaming myself, I replace it by something kinder. I remember: “do not criticize yourself”. I believe there is a universal sentence we can all adopt: “I did the best I could”.
Indeed, you did the best you could with the circumstances, with your knowledge, with your awareness. If you could have done better, you would have. So there is nothing to blame you about. We do not do stupid things consciously, right? We’re not acting to suffer on purpose. So we just have to accept it, become more aware, and know that next time, we will do better.
You are enough
I’d like to end this post with a quote from Brené Brown. In case nobody told you, just be aware that: “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, you are enough”. And: “Yes, you are imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that you are also brave and worthy of love and belonging”.
I hope this will set you on a path towards more self-love. I hope you understand the importance of the sentence “Do not criticize yourself”. Please let me know if you have other techniques or if this has been helpful to you!